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  1. Power and Limits of a Picture: On the Notion of Thought Experiments in the Philosophy of Literature.Wolfgang Huemer - forthcoming - In Falk Bornmüller, Mathis Lessau & Johannes Franzen (eds.), Literature as Thought Experiment? Paderborn: Fink.
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  2. Mental Imagery and Fiction.Dustin Stokes - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    Fictions evoke imagery, and their value consists partly in that achievement. This paper offers analysis of this neglected topic. Section I identifies relevant philosophical background. II offers a working definition of imagery. III identifies empirical work on visual imagery. IV and V criticize imagery essentialism, through the lens of genuine fictional narratives. This outcome, though, is not wholly critical. The expressed spirit of imagery essentialism is to encourage philosophers to "put the image back into the imagination." The weakened conclusion is (...)
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  3. On Making Sense of Ingarden.Barry Smith - 1979 - In Crisis of Aesthetics. Cracow: Jagiellonian University Press. pp. 283-289.
    An account of Roman Ingarden's ontology of literature.
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  4. Imaginative Resistance, Narrative Engagement, Genre.Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):461-482.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
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  5. Fictional and Aesthetic Objects: Meinong’s Point of View.Venanzio Raspa - 2006 - In A. Bottani & R. Davies (eds.), Modes of Existence. Papers in Ontology and Philosophical Logic. Ontos Verlag. pp. 47-80.
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  6. Storie, ipotesi, gradi di verità.Venanzio Raspa - 2014 - Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy 2 (2):141-163.
    Stories express hypotheses, interpretations of the world that have a certain degree of probability. To demonstrate this thesis I have adopted the notion of hypothesis, in a sense very close to the Meinongian concept of assumption, and a ‘metric’ conception of the values of the truth or falsity of a proposition – as that has been proposed in several ways by Peirce, Vasil’ev and Meinong. To show the the cognitive value of literary texts, and therefore their truth value, I take (...)
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  7. Lamarque, Peter. The Opacity of Narrative. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, Xv + 213 Pp., £19.95 Paper. [REVIEW]Jonathan Gilmore - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3):349-351.
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  8. The Puzzle of Multiple Endings.Florian Cova & Amanda Garcia - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2):105-114.
    Why is it that most fictions present one and only one ending, rather than multiple ones? Fictions presenting multiple endings are possible, because a few exist; but they are very rare, and this calls for an explanation. We argue that such an explanation is likely to shed light on our engagement with fictions, for fictions having one and only one ending seem to be ubiquitous. After dismissing the most obvious explanations for this phenomenon, we compare the scarcity of multiple endings (...)
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  9. The Epistemology of Fiction and the Question of Invariant Norms.Jonathan Gilmore - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:105-126.
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  10. Discipline and the Docile Body: Regulating Hungers in the Capitol.Christina Van Dyke - 2012 - In G. Dunn & N. Michaud (eds.), The Hunger Games and Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 250-264.
    When Katniss first arrives in the Capitol, she is both amazed and repulsed by the dramatic body- modifications and frivolous lives of its citizens. “What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol,” she wonders, “besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?” In this paper, I argue that the more time and energy the Capitol citizens focus on body-modification and their social lives, the more (...)
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  11. Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma.Alberto Voltolini - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25):235-261.
    In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...)
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  12. The Reality of Lies.Venanzio Raspa - 2013 - Filozofija I Društvo 24 (2):105-131.
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  13. The Problem of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler & Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - In John Gibson & Noël Carroll (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. Routledge. pp. 405-418.
    The problem of imaginative resistance holds interest for aestheticians, literary theorists, ethicists, philosophers of mind, and epistemologists. We present a somewhat opinionated overview of the philosophical discussion to date. We begin by introducing the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. We then review existing responses to the problem, giving special attention to recent research directions. Finally, we consider the philosophical significance that imaginative resistance has—or, at least, is alleged to have—for issues in moral psychology, theories of cognitive architecture, and modal epistemology.
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  14. Attending Emotionally to Fiction.Cain Todd - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (4):449-465.
    This paper addresses the so-called paradox of fiction, the problem of explaining how we can have emotional responses towards fiction. I claim that no account has yet provided an adequate explanation of how we can respond with genuine emotions when we know that the objects of our responses are fictional. I argue that we should understand the role played by the imagination in our engagement with fiction as functionally equivalent to that which it plays under the guise of acceptance in (...)
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  15. Models, Sherlock Holmes and the Emperor Claudius.Adam Toon - manuscript
    Recently, a number of authors have suggested that we understand scientific models in the same way as fictional characters, like Sherlock Holmes. The biggest challenge for this approach concerns the ontology of fictional characters. I consider two responses to this challenge, given by Roman Frigg, Ronald Giere and Peter Godfrey-Smith, and argue that neither is successful. I then suggest an alternative approach. While parallels with fiction are useful, I argue that models of real systems are more aptly compared to works (...)
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  16. Musil's Imaginary Bridge.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - The Monist 97 (1):30-46.
    In a calculation involving imaginary numbers, we begin with real numbers that represent concrete measures and we end up with numbers that are equally real, but in the course of the operation we find ourselves walking “as if on a bridge that stands on no piles”. How is that possible? How does that work? And what is involved in the as-if stance that this metaphor introduces so beautifully? These are questions that bother Törless deeply. And that Törless is bothered by (...)
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  17. Incomplete Fictions and Imagination.J. Robert G. Williams - unknown
    *Note that this project is now being developed in joint work with Rich Woodward* -/- Some things are left open by a work of fiction. What colour were the hero’s eyes? How many hairs are on her head? Did the hero get shot in the final scene, or did the jailor complete his journey to redemption and shoot into the air? Are the ghosts that appear real, or a delusion? Where fictions are open or incomplete in this way, we can (...)
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  18. Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality (I).Kendall Lewis Walton - 1994/2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 68:27-50.
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  19. Fiction-Making as a Gricean Illocutionary Type.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 2007 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2):203–216.
    There are propositions constituting the content of fictions—sometimes of the utmost importance to understand them—which are not explicitly presented, but must somehow be inferred. This essay deals with what these inferences tell us about the nature of fiction. I will criticize three well-known proposals in the literature: those by David Lewis, Gregory Currie, and Kendall Walton. I advocate a proposal of my own, which I will claim improves on theirs. Most important for my purposes, I will argue on this basis, (...)
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  20. The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance.Dustin R. Stokes - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4):287-405.
    A fiction may prescribe imagining that a pig can talk or tell the future. A fiction may prescribe imagining that torturing innocent persons is a good thing. We generally comply with imaginative prescriptions like the former, but not always with prescriptions like the latter: we imagine non-evaluative fictions without difficulty but sometimes resist imagining value-rich fictions. Thus arises the puzzle of imaginative resistance. Most analyses of the phenomenon focus on the content of the relevant imaginings. The present analysis focuses instead (...)
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Fictional Characters
  1. Through a Telescreen Darkly.Lavinia Marin - 2018 - In Ezio Di Nucci & Stefan Storrie (eds.), 1984 and philosophy, is resistance futile? Open Court. pp. 187-198.
    “It was a peculiarly beautiful book. its smooth creamy paper, a little yellowed by age, was of a kind that had not been manufactured for at least forty years past. . . . Even with nothing written in it, it was a compromising possession. The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would (...)
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  2. Fanfiction, Canon, and Possible Worlds.Sara L. Uckelman - manuscript
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  3. Tichý and Fictional Names.Daniela Glavaničová - 2017 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 24 (3):384-404.
    The paper examines two possible analyses of fictional names within Pavel Tichý’s Transparent Intensional Logic. The first of them is the analysis actually proposed by Tichý in his (1988) book The Foundations of Frege’s Logic. He analysed fictional names in terms of free variables. I will introduce, explain, and assess this analysis. Subsequently, I will explain Tichý’s notion of individual role (office, thing-to-be). On the basis of this notion, I will outline and defend the second analysis of fictional names. This (...)
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  4. Conversational Exculpature.Daniel Hoek - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (2):151-196.
    Conversational exculpature is a pragmatic process whereby information is subtracted from, rather than added to, what the speaker literally says. This pragmatic content subtraction explains why we can say “Rob is six feet tall” without implying that Rob is between 5'0.99" and 6'0.01" tall, and why we can say “Ellen has a hat like the one Sherlock Holmes always wears” without implying Holmes exists or has a hat. This article presents a simple formalism for understanding this pragmatic mechanism, specifying how, (...)
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  5. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Christopher Badura & Francesco Berto - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  6. More on Fictional Names and Psychologistic Semantics: Replies to Comments.Emar Maier - 2017 - Theoretical Linguistics 43 (1-2):103-120.
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  7. Review of Brock and Everett (Eds.) Fictional Objects. [REVIEW]Lee Walters - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
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  8. Review of Anthony Everett, The Nonexistent. [REVIEW]Catharine Abell - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):209-212.
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  9. The Problem of Empty Names and Russellian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18.
    ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that (...)
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  10. Fictional Realism and Indeterminate Identity.Brendan Murday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:205-225.
    Fictional realists hold that fictional characters are real entities. However, Anthony Everett [“Against Fictional Realism”, Journal of Philosophy (2005)] notes that some fictions leave it indeterminate whether character A is identical to character B, while other fictions depict A as simultaneously identical and distinct from B. Everett argues that these fictions commit the realist to indeterminate and impossible identity relations among actual entities, and that as such realism is untenable. This paper defends fictional realism: for fictions depicting non-classical identity between (...)
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  11. Fictional and Aesthetic Objects: Meinong’s Point of View.Venanzio Raspa - 2006 - In A. Bottani & R. Davies (eds.), Modes of Existence. Papers in Ontology and Philosophical Logic. Ontos Verlag. pp. 47-80.
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  12. A Suitable Metaphysics for Fictional Entities.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - In S. Brock & A. Everett (eds.), Fictional Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 129-146.
    There is a list of desiderata that any good metaphysics of fictional entities should be able to fulfill. These desiderata are: 1) the nonexistence of fictional entities; 2) the causal inefficacy of suchentities;3)the incompleteness of such entities;4)the created character of such entities; 5) the actual possession by ficta of the narrated properties; 6) the unrevisable ascription to ficta of such properties; and 7) the necessary possession by ficta of such properties. (Im)possibilist metaphysics uncontroversially satisfy 1) and 2); Neo-Meinongian metaphysics satisfy (...)
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  13. Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.
    In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...)
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  14. Fictional Names in Psychologistic Semantics.Emar Maier - 2017 - Theoretical Linguistics 43 (1-2):1-46.
    Fictional names pose a difficult puzzle for semantics. We can truthfully maintain that Frodo is a hobbit, while at the same time admitting that Frodo does not exist. To reconcile this paradox I propose a way to formalize the interpretation of fiction as ‘prescriptions to imagine’ (Walton 1990) within an asymmetric semantic framework in the style of Kamp (1990). In my proposal, fictional statements are analyzed as dynamic updates on an imagination component of the interpreter’s mental state, while plain assertions (...)
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  15. Artifactualism and Authorial Creation.Zsofia Zvolenszky - 2014 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 6:457–469.
    Artifactualism about fictional characters, positing Harry Potter as an abstract artifact created by J. K. Rowling, has been criticized on the grounds that the idea of creating such objects is mysterious and problematic. In the light of such qualms, it is worth homing in on an argument in favor of artifactualism, showing that it is the best way to include the likes of Harry Potter in our ontology precisely because it incorporates authorial creation. To that end, I will be exploring (...)
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  16. Creationism and Cardinality.Daniel Nolan & Alexander Sandgren - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):615-622.
    Creationism about fictional entities requires a principle connecting what fictions say exist with which fictional entities really exist. The most natural way of spelling out such a principle yields inconsistent verdicts about how many fictional entities are generated by certain inconsistent fictions. Avoiding inconsistency without compromising the attractions of creationism will not be easy.
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  17. Entidades Ficcionais.Fiora Salis - 2014 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
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  18. Le médecin-écrivain, l’éthique et l’imaginaire.Marc Zaffran - 2010 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 5 (1):83-100.
    Les médecins qui écrivent sont nombreux à travers le monde, mais les relations entre expérience professionnelle des soignants et écriture de fiction sont plus largement étudiés et reconnus dans le monde littéraire et médical anglophone que dans l'espace francophone. À travers l'examen de quatre romans d'un médecin-écrivain français publiant depuis 1989 et à la faveur d'un entretien inédit, cet article s'interroge sur la manière dont l'expérience professionnelle d'un praticien peut nourrir ses fictions et y transmettre les conceptions de l'auteur sur (...)
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  19. Against Sainsbury’s Irrealism About Fictional Characters: Harry Potter as an Abstract Artifact.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2012 - Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Filozófiai Szemle) (4):83-109.
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  20. Abstract Artifact Theory About Fictional Characters Defended — Why Sainsbury’s Category-Mistake Objection is Mistaken.Zsófia Zvolenszky - 2013 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics Vol. 5/2013.
    In this paper, I explore a line of argument against one form of realism about fictional characters : abstract artifact theory, the view according to which fictional characters like Harry Potter are part of our reality, but, they are abstract objects created by humans, akin to the institution of marriage and the game of soccer. I will defend artifactualism against an objection that Mark Sainsbury considers decisive against it: the category-mistake objection. The objection has it that artifactualism attributes to people (...)
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  21. Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma.Alberto Voltolini - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25):235-261.
    In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...)
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  22. The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts.Daniel Z. Korman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71.
    Words, languages, symphonies, fictional characters, games, and recipes are plausibly abstract artifacts— entities that have no spatial location and that are deliberately brought into existence as a result of creative acts. Many accept that composition is unrestricted: for every plurality of material objects, there is a material object that is the sum of those objects. These two views may seem entirely unrelated. I will argue that the most influential argument against restricted composition—the vagueness argument—doubles as an argument that there can (...)
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  23. Fictional Entities.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
    In this entry I present one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary analytic philosophy regarding the nature of fictional entities and the motivations that might be adduced for and against positing them into our ontology. The entry is divided in two parts. In the first part I offer an overview of the main accounts of the metaphysics of fictional entities according to three standard realist views, fictional Meinongianism, fictional possibilism and fictional creationism. In the second part I describe (...)
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  24. How Creationism Supports for Kripke’s Vichianism on Fiction.Alberto Voltolini - 2011 - In F. Lihoreau (ed.), Truth in Fiction. Ontos Verlag. pp. 38--93.
    In this paper, I want to show that a reasonable thesis on truth in fiction, Fictional Vichianism (FV)—according to which fictional truths are true because they are stipulated to be true—can be positively endorsed if one grounds Kripke’s justification for (FV), that traces back to the idea that names used in fiction never refer to concrete real individuals, into a creationist position on fictional entities that allows for a distinction between the pretending and the characterizing use of fiction-involving sentences. Thus, (...)
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  25. Crossworks ‘Identity’ and Intrawork* Identity of a Fictional Character.Alberto Voltolini - 2012 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 262 (4):561-576.
    In this paper I want to show that the idea supporters of traditional creationism (TC) defend, that success of a fictional character across different works has to be accounted for in terms of the persistence of (numerically) one and the same fictional entity, is incorrect. For the supposedly commonsensical data on which those supporters claim their ideas rely are rather controversial. Once they are properly interpreted, they can rather be accommodated by moderate creationism (MC), according to which fictional characters arise (...)
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  26. A Defense of Causal Creationism in Fiction.David Sackris - 2013 - Philosophical Writings 41 (1):32-46.
    In this paper I seek defend the view that fictional characters are author-created abstract entities against objections offered by Stuart Brock in his paper “The Creationist Fiction: The Case against Creationism about Fictional Characters.” I argue that his objections fall far short of his goal of showing that if philosophers want to believe in fictional characters as abstract objects, they should not view them as author-created. My defense of creationism in fiction in part rests on tying the act of creating (...)
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  27. Adam Bede’s Dutch Realism and the Novelist’s Point of View.Rebecca Gould - 2012 - Philosophy and Literature 36 (2):404-423.
    Hegel was ambivalent about Dutch genre painting’s uncanny ability to find beauty in daily life. The philosopher regarded the Dutch painterly aesthetic as Romanticism avant la lettre, and classifies it as such in his Lectures on Aesthetics, under the section entitled “Die romantischen Künste [The Romantic arts].”1 Dutch art, in Hegel’s reading, is marred by many shortcomings. The most prominent among these are the “subjective stubbornness [subjective Beschlossenheit]” that prevents this art from attaining to the “free and ideal forms of (...)
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  28. Models, Sherlock Holmes and the Emperor Claudius.Adam Toon - manuscript
    Recently, a number of authors have suggested that we understand scientific models in the same way as fictional characters, like Sherlock Holmes. The biggest challenge for this approach concerns the ontology of fictional characters. I consider two responses to this challenge, given by Roman Frigg, Ronald Giere and Peter Godfrey-Smith, and argue that neither is successful. I then suggest an alternative approach. While parallels with fiction are useful, I argue that models of real systems are more aptly compared to works (...)
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  29. Truth and Reference in Fiction.Stavroula Glezakos - forthcoming - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    Fiction is often characterized by way of a contrast with truth, as, for example, in the familiar couplet “Truth is always strange/ Stranger than fiction" (Byron 1824). And yet, those who would maintain that “we will always learn more about human life and human personality from novels than from scientific psychology” (Chomsky 1988: 159) hold that some truth is best encountered via fiction. The scrupulous novelist points out that her work depicts no actual person, either living or dead; nonetheless, we (...)
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  30. Review of Amie L. Thomasson, Fiction and Metaphysics[REVIEW]Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3):723-727.
    Book Information: Thomasson, Amie L., Fiction and Metaphysics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. xii, 175, $49.95.
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